Stenciling: Designing Structurally-Sound Surfaces with Decorative Patterns


We present a novel method to design shells with artistic cutouts in a manner that produces a stable final result.

June 20, 2016
Eurographics Symposium on Geometry Processing 2016



Christian Schumacher (Disney Research/ETH Joint PhD)

Bernhard Thomaszewski (Disney Research)

Markus Gross (Disney Research/ETH Zurich)

Stenciling: Designing Structurally-Sound Surfaces with Decorative Patterns


The process of stenciling, removing material with a fixed shape, is a particularly appealing way to introduce a decorative pattern into the design of architectural structures, furniture, or household objects. However, removing material can easily weaken an object to the point where its integrity is compromised, while purely functional distributions of cutouts lack the desired aesthetic component. We tackle this problem by combining aesthetics, stability, and material efficiency in an optimization that determines the distribution and scaling of these stencils in a way that complies as much as possible with both pattern and stability objectives. We demonstrate the capabilities of our system on examples from architecture, furniture design, and decorative items, and show how user interaction can be integrated to guide the aesthetics of the final result.

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